Joseph Martin Cheer* - Monash University
Keir James Reeves, Dr - Monash University
Gertjan Plets - Gent University, Belgium
This paper appraises the integration of 'tourism, culture and heritage' as a collective livelihood mechanism into the traditional economy. A comparative case study approach is taken, drawing on fieldwork in the Pacific island nation Vanuatu, and the Altai Republic of Russia. This paper examines whether the traditional economy and the triumvirate are compatible or whether they are at odds, and impinge on their potential as a means of livelihood enhancement and diversification. The traditional economy is central to the evolving development and human geographies of indigenous, traditional and peripheral peoples in less economically developed contexts, and relates fundamentally to agrarian subsistence livelihoods that are linked to traditional or customary owned resources for which they act as owners, custodians and benefactors. Their propensity to sustain secure, subsistence livelihoods is anchored in the security of, and access to customary land and the allied natural resource base. This paper argues that power disparities in both cases have become alarmingly more predominant, principally because the capacity of poorly skilled and lowly capitalised traditional peoples remains restricted. The consequential cultural and livelihood changes from touristic growth raises serious apprehensions, especially when significant imposts on traditional people are becoming more pronounced, despite prolonged periods of tourism development.